'Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd...'
After months of discussion and feverish planning, we're thrilled to announce that RicNic Oxford will be staging Steven Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street this summer. Yes, you read that right: this year, our ambitious participants will be tackling one of the most infamous fictional villains ever created, via one of the most dark and delightful musicals ever written - to say we're excited is an understatement!
Long before Steven Sondheim was composing avian-themed arias (see 'Green Finch and Linnet Bird'...!) or Johnny Depp was slinking about murderously on screen, the character of Sweeney Todd made his literary debut in The String of Pearls: A Romance (a Victorian penny dreadful). There wasn't much about the story that we'd think of as romantic, though - instead, the tale concerned the now-familiar scenario of a barber with a penchant for murdering his unsuspecting customers...
Over a hundred years - and several dramatisations - later, writer Christopher Bond turned this grisly tale into a play, with the aim of portraying a more sympathetic side to Todd. In this version, Todd is a barber who returns to London fifteen years after being wrongfully imprisoned in an Australian penal colony, only to find that Judge Turpin - the man who sentenced him - has abused his wife and adopted Todd's only daughter. It was this version of Sweeney Todd that caught the attention of Stephen Sondheim, who turned it into a thrilling musical. First performed in 1979, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has been awarded both Tony and Olivier Awards for Best Musical, and is beloved by audiences for its fantastic score and gripping plot.
We can't wait to see what RicNic Oxford does with it - we know it'll be one unmissable show!
If you'd like to know more about the show, or if you're interested in getting involved, we'd love to hear from you! Drop the RicNic Oxford team a line (firstname.lastname@example.org) or follow them on Facebook or Twitter. Or, if you'd just like to know more about RicNic and how you can support our talented young participants, don't hesitate to contact Development and Production Manager Alexandra Finlay (email@example.com).